We have our feet firmly on the ground – 31st March 2001

Saturday 31st
5 days to go!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

I was dreading my driving lesson today cos it was pouring with rain and I thought I’d be tackling roundabouts again but I actually enjoyed it! I got to drive through the countryside and down the dual carriageway and I overtook at big white van! 🙂 Then I went to near school and had to do 3 point turns. I didn’t think it was brilliant but my instructor said he wished everyone could do them that well the first time. He also said he was impressed with some of my driving today too. Cool!

My little bracelet that Jake sent me broke today so hopefully we’ll be even more in love when he gets back home! 🙂 I’d just begun to get upset cos I thought something had happened to Jake when he finally phoned at 9:20pm. He said they’d got a different instructor today so he had lunch at a different time. He said the Level 2 thing’s gone well so far but he’s no idea whether he’ll pass or not. We’ve both got colds so we shouldn’t have to worry about infecting one another when he comes home. I don’t think I’d really care anyway though! I told him my bracelet broke and he said he still loves me, which is good!

We were both just getting excited about next Friday and talking about when he gets home when the phone cut off. 😦 He didn’t ring back but it’s probably cos the phone stopped working and he had to get back to skiing anyway.

Abby rang at about 11:30pm to say she was staying over at Connor’s house. Mum started telling me how she’s really worried that Abby’s going to give up on going to uni and stuff cos she won’t want to be separated from him and would end up regretting it. She said he’s a nice lad but he’s really possessive and doesn’t give Abby any space, and Abby’s always tired cos she sees him then does her homework really late at night.

Mum said that Abby’s being really selfish too and she feels like she and Dad are just being used for money cos the other night, Abby and Connor were on their way to Manchester then saw Dad on his way home and came back to tell him where they were going and to get money.

Mum reckons Abby’s too young for such an “intense” relationship and she’s missing out on stuff with her mates cos of him. Mum said she doesn’t worry about me the same cos I’m older and Jake doesn’t ring every 10 minutes to check up on me and interrupt my homework.

She did start going on about her not wanting me to be heartbroken or anything but that things get better if that did happen. I hope it doesn’t! She just said that it happened to her after she’d been with a lad for about 2 years and then went to college and they split up. She agreed that Jake and I would be more likely to split up if we went to different unis though and also said that there’s no reason why we should split up and named loads of people who’d met when they were about 15 and are still together now.

She said she thinks Jake and I are right for each other and have common sense, are sensible and we have our feet firmly on the ground. [God, I’m dull, aren’t I? No wonder my teenage diary’s so boring!] That made me feel a bit better cos I didn’t like to hear stuff about splitting up and all that. I hope Jake and I stay together.


Today’s emails →

31-03-01 Jake email31-03-01 Tess email

She wanked the cricketer off in a bus shelter – 24th June 2000

Saturday 24th This morning I got a message of Jake saying, “ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT NOW IS YOU LYING ON THAT SOFA WITH YOUR FLEECE ON! : ) SOOOOO CUTE!!! UH! NOW YOU’VE DONE IT – I CAN’T CONCENTRATE ON ANYTHING ELSE : ) LOVE xJx”. It’s sort of nice to hear that you have that effect on someone!

At about 3:00pm, Auntie S, Uncle G, Rhian, Tom and Minnie arrived here. They’re stopping over for the night cos they’re getting on a plane from Manchester airport to Florida tomorrow morning. It’s nearly a year since I last saw my cousins so it was nice to see them and Auntie S and Uncle G. We went for our tea at The Green Dragon across the road so Tom and Minnie could got in the play area bit.

I got a message from Jake this afternoon saying he’d got out of an 8 hour shift at work so we could go out. I was torn between seeing him or staying with Rhian and co. Rhian’s 14 now so she wanted to go out tonight as well so I asked Jake if he’d mind if Rhian and Abby came out with us too. He said he didn’t so we arranged to go to the cinema at the Trafford Centre.

Sarah phoned me at one point and asked if anything was happening so I told her. It turned out she was working until 8:00pm so I said we could meet her there and that Jake would probably give her a lift home seeing as it’s on the way back.

So, all the arrangements worked well, until Abby decided to invite Connor. I told her while she was asking him that there wasn’t room in the car but she ignored me even though she heard me. I don’t know why she couldn’t have just gone one night without seeing him cos he’s been round here all week! I have to cope without seeing Jake!

She was digging her heels in though, saying we could squash everyone in (which we couldn’t have done!) and I got really frustrated and ended up getting upset… again! I really don’t know what’s wrong with me at the moment but every time I get angry or something I end up in tears! Uncle G ended up giving Abby and Rhian money to get a taxi back. That wouldn’t have been necessary if Connor wasn’t going.

The other reason I didn’t really want Connor to come is that when he and Abby are together, she acts like she’s well hard and they both take the piss (nastily), calling us sad and stuff cos we don’t go out to places like town on a Friday night!

Anyway, it all got sorted in the end cos Abby, Rhian and Connor got a taxi (although Rhian could’ve had a lift). We went to see Drive Me Crazy in the end. It was okay, nice and cheerful! The only problem was that the main lad in the film’s mum had died of cancer and it got mentioned. Jake didn’t react but Sarah and Abby said they felt uncomfortable afterwards.

Jake and I managed to cuddle up to each other in our seats and he rested my hand on his leg so I had to shift my legs so the others couldn’t see. I didn’t actually do anything else though. I really wanted to snog him but it felt weird in front of Abby and Rhian and I didn’t want Rhian feeling like a gooseberry or something!

Rhian told me that she thought Connor was only “alright” and that he scared her but she thought Jake’s very nice.

On the way home, Hayley rang Sarah. She spoke to us both and told us that she wanked the cricketer off in a bus shelter! I just would not phone everyone and tell them straight away! In fact, I’ve never said anything about me and Jake to anyone.

When she’d gone, Jake was letting us know how disgusted he was by what she’d done, saying that it’s a really slutty thing to do and that he’d have no respect for a girl who did something like that so soon after meeting him.

Later on, I got a message off Jake and we somehow ended up having a text conversation about us never being alone. He told me he’d never do stuff in a car down a dark lane but he said he’d “sort something out”. I’m not quite sure what though!


He was shouting at us to get off the bloody phone – 7th April 1998

Tuesday 7th What a morning! All the action started when I was just finishing brushing my teeth and I looked out of the window to see a little black dog and a little brown dog scampering over the chapel field and across the road straight in front of a load of vehicles. It had Peter C (who is painting our house) panicking coz he though the black one was our Mollie.

Mum and Dad weren’t in and I couldn’t just stand there and watch these 2 dogs running about down the middle of the road so I ran downstairs, got Abby and we went to try and catch them. They were both in the neighbours back garden so I knocked on the door but they weren’t in.

The dogs weren’t very tame (either that or they were just excited to be free) but the brown one came over and sniffed Abby then me. Meanwhile, the black one was running round the back yards of the white cottages and Mr + Mrs M from the end cottage came out. They helped a bit by standing in the way of the path to the road but they’re elderly so couldn’t exactly leg it round after them like me and my sis were!

I got Mollie’s collar and lead and managed to catch the brown one but the black one just ran miles up the main road. Abby followed and still couldn’t see it.

Mrs M said that someone in the red brick terrace had 2 little dogs and if he wasn’t in we could try the relative next door. We knocked but no-one answered so we went to the 3rd house along and an old lady answered. She said they could be his dogs and went and checked but they weren’t. She gave the one we had a biscuit and we took it home again.

I went in and Abby stayed outside with him coz we couldn’t take him in coz of Mollie. I phoned loads of RSPCA and animal welfare numbers but there was either no answer or they couldn’t help us.

Mum came home for her lunch and actually took it quite well. She suggested that we put the dog in the shed whilst we sorted things out so we did. Abby ran off again after the black one and I had to go too with keys coz Mum had gone back to work. I was terrified of seeing it get run over or something so I was a bit reluctant to go. To make matters worse it was pouring with rain. Two girls on bikes (who had been asked if they’d seen it by us before) found us and said they had seen it running round by the shop. We ran up there and saw it bolt back behind a terrace of houses.

I went in the shop to see if Mary could do or see anything and she came and said we should just phone the Cats & Dogs Home coz she thought it might belong to the bloke who shot her cat. That made me feel a bit less sympathetic towards the dogs at first but then I realised that it’s not the dogs’ fault which owner they have and Mary only thought that.

The chase continued. It went in another garden so I knocked to ask if it was ok to go in and an old lady answered and said it was fine and that we were good girls which I appreciated coz I was pretty fed up and wet.

We gave up in the end and said that we’d just phone someone like the RSPCA again to collect it. As we were walking round the front, we saw it jumping up and down at a front door. It must’ve been where it lived so we told ourselves that it’d probably stay there.

When I got home again, I tried phoning places but still no-one would come. Then we had a couple of messages on the answer service from Dad. He was shouting at us to get off the bloody phone coz he thought we were on to our friends.

That was it. I just burst into tears. It had all been too much and I was still worried about the black one. I felt that it was all down to me to sort everything coz Abby wouldn’t phone anywhere and now Dad was yelling at me. I just went out to the shed and sat with the dog. He seemed pleased to see me, for the company I think. He was a lovely little thing.

Abby phoned Dad to explain things and he understood and said he’d come home from Widnes. Abby and I got the extendable lead out and played fetch with the dog in the garden until Peter C came and said a man was here looking for his dog. We went round the front and he thanked us, called his dog a naughty bugger, picked him up under his arm and went.

I have to say, I was very glad to get rid of him and he also told us that the other one was at home which I was relieved about.

Camelot tomorrow. I wonder if anything will happen between me and Ralph!


He was a haddock! – 25th-28th December 1997

Thursday 25th

December 1997 - Xmas Day

Hello and Merry Christmas! I woke up at 8:00 this morning and I had to wake up Rhian and Abby too so we all sneaked downstairs. Everybody was already up anyway and turkey was already int oven. All the presents were opened but it all went too quickly. I got choccies, clothes, a lizard (toy of course!) and other stuff. We played games and stuff all day then.

Sorry this hasn’t been a long entry but it’s late now.


Sunday 28th I’m back at home now.

Boxing Day we all just mooched around the house watching TV and trying out presents. There was this one game of Rhian’s called ‘Articulate!’ which was good. You had to get into teams and, as you moved around the board, each team took turns in describing a word which 1 person had to do to their own team. You could use actions, words or both as long as you didn’t say the word.

Tom was mithering us to let him have a go so after the game we gave him the pack of cards and let him choose one to do to the whole family. There was one where he was walking up and down being some sort of fish so we were all guessing things like shark, whale and goldfish. When we eventually gave up he told us he was a haddock! My mum was in fits of laughter and so was everyone else. You had to be there really. He’s only 7 and it was so cute! Later on he had a cod, a flying fish and a catfish. You can probably imagine what they were like. [Exactly the same as haddock.]

Yesterday was awful, you know, saying goodbye and all. I hate that part. Before we got onto the A9 out of Wick, Abby wanted to get some dolls changed in this shop. It was shut so we decided to go back and give them to Rhian so she could sort it and send ‘em down. You should have seen Tom’s face when the car came back up the road. Complete shock!

We stayed at the Royal Dunkeld Hotel again last night coz it was good on the way up.

I’m home now. As soon as I got in, I phoned Emma to see if I’d missed anything. She said she’d kissed Charlie Wilson, Dougie [NONONONONO!!!!] and Gethin Turner under the mistletoe on Friday and she’d been bowling with Zoe and Poppy.

Then she said that we could go ice skating tomorrow with Ralph, Dougie and Freddie if he’s back. She was meant to phone me about it at 9:00pm and its 11:10pm now so I’m off to bed in a minute.

[Look away now if you can’t cope with sick.]

On the way home, the dog puked in the car and it was all yellow and watery (which was cheese, water and a yellow doggy chew according to Dad!) and she stood in it all then walked all over my lap. YUK!

Also, it was funny when Abby was proving to me that she could touch her nose with her tongue and this Jeep with a couple of lads in the back overtook us and I turned round and saw ‘em all laughing at her! I couldn’t stop then either.


P.S. I’m really missing everyone in Wick. A week there’s not long enough.

“It’s Dougie on the phone for you. No joking!” – 22nd November 1997

Saturday 22nd Hold on, I’m just going to change pens. This one’s annoying coz it keeps changing colours. I’m back.

I spent most of the day at Emma’s. We couldn’t go anywhere coz Dougie said he’d phone her this afternoon. [Gather round, kids, I’m going to tell you all about the olden days when your only phone was permanently plugged into a wall in your house…] We sat in her room for ages until she decided to phone him. He wasn’t even in! His dad said he’d gone shopping in town. We could’ve gone somewhere. That was a complete waste of time.

When my sister, Abby, got in from going to Warrington with her friends, she told me she’d seen Dougie in BHS with his mum and middle sister.

November 1997 - Space filler

Then, this evening, the phone rang and I was half expecting it to be Dougie coz Emma wasn’t in. I was right. Abby came rushing up the stairs and said, “It’s Dougie on the phone for you. No joking!” I ran along the landing into Mum’s room and picked up the phone. This is more or less how the conversation went:-

Me: Hello? Abby, I’ve got it! Sorry.
Dougie: Hi, it’s me.
Me: Oh, hi. [Feigning vague surprise?]
Dougie: Was that your sister?
M: Yeah, probably. [What?! It was definitely my sister! I think I was trying to be cool and it came out as weird.]
D: I saw her in Warrington today.
M: Yeah I know. She said she saw you. Are you coming tomorrow then?
D: No, I can’t.
M: Oh, okay. Why not?
D: (Mutters something about tennis lessons.)
M: Oh right. Never mind.
D: Is Freddie still going?
M: I think so.
D: Who’s going then?
M: Just me, Emma and Freddie, I think.
D: Is Ralph going?
M: I doubt it. He said he’s skint and he can’t skate.
D: (Laughs) I can’t skate very well either.
M: Freddie’s really good though.
D: Yeah, he goes every week.
M: I know. He got really big headed about it last time we went.
D: (Laughs again)
M: Look, I’d better go.
D: Oh ok. Tell your sister I love her! (I think that’s what he said!)
M: Why?!
D: Never mind.
M: Okay then, bye.
D: Bye.

I’d have liked to talk for longer but Abby was standing over me and I’d run out of things to say. I hope Freddie’s not going to mind being on his own. I mean, he might have asked someone else but if he thought Dougie was coming then he probably hasn’t. Oh well, I s’pose we’ll find out tomorrow.


P.S. Manchester United (I support them) beat Wimbledon 5-2 today away. Beckham scored 2, Scholes 1, Cole 1 and Butt 1 (I think). It’s great coz Barnsley beat Liverpool 1-0 and Arsenal lost 2-0 to Sheffield Wednesday. Man Utd are at the tip of the Premiership where they belong.

I DON’T WANNA GO BACK TO SCHOOL YET!!! – 2nd September 1997

Tuesday 2nd My mum took me to Grizedale Forest today in the Lake District because that’s where Andy Goldsworthy does some of his work so we thought it could be quite interesting. My sister Abby and her friend Cassie Forrester came too coz they had nothing else to do. Emma came as well coz she is also researching Andy’s work. Oh yeah, we took our Scottie (Mollie) too as it’s a forest walk and dogs are allowed.

It took us a couple of hours to get there and we were all feeling pretty travel sick when we did coz the roads in the Lakes tend to be very windy.

We had lunch on a picnic bench when we arrived and then went on some of the walks.

September 1997 - Grizedale (4)

It was better than I expected actually even though it did rain a bit. We took plenty of photos coz the sculptures were all dead good. [They must’ve been AMAZING to get a ‘dead good’ out of teenage me.]

September 1997 - Grizedale to use

We saw one of Goldsworthy’s called Seven Spires but the rest were too far away. Anyway, I did get postcards and a few photos but they probably won’t be developed in time for my first Art lesson.

I’ve still got loads of work left and only one more day to do it in. Plus I’ve got to pack my bag, sort out my uniform and equipment, phone my friends to check stuff etc. It’s gonna be a busy day! [Packing a bag, picking an outfit and talking to my friends would be a lovely, lazy day for 2015 Tess. I do all that in half an hour most mornings.]

Emma’s also put me in an awkward position by asking me if I want to go to Bolton to find her a pair of shoes. I found it hard to say no but I did manage to get out of it. I hate shopping anyway, especially for other people!


Only one more day to go! It doesn’t seem like 6 weeks since I was I Year 9. Woah! That’s another thing. Writing ‘Year 10’ on stuff!


Lying on my back with my legs in the air – 14th August 1997

[The title of this one may be misleading if your mind is firmly planted in the gutter.]

Thursday 14th Dad came back up here on the plane today and we went to the airport to pick him up.

August 1997 - Plane

He seemed to enjoy the flight even though there was a slight delay. The dog was so pleased to see him then she started yapping at him as if she was telling him off for going away!

We rode down to the town today in search of some music which (unbelievably) we found. [It seems I was constantly pleasantly surprised by Wick. An advantage of being a pessimist, I s’pose.] It was 2 CDs, Backstreet Boys – Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)

and Meredith Brooks – Bitch.

As we were going, we passed Ben McFarlane. He looked even more gorgeous today wearing his baseball cap. Why is it that now I’ve seen him I’m going home soon? It’s so annoying!

I’m sore all over now. The 3 of us were going down a stony dirt track at top speed. It was steep and I swerved and went flying over my bike handlebars! Rhian crashed into the back of me and ended up hanging over a steep drop. She was only hanging on by a piece of rock whilst I was rolling over and tumbling down this dirt track!

Abby was behind us watching and sniggering and Rhian started yelling 4 help and that she couldn’t feel her leg that was trapped under her bike. I stopped falling and was lying on my back with my legs in the air, waiting for the pain to kick in. Then I started sliding so Abby was trying to stop both of us. She got me up first then pulled Rhian up.

I checked myself and I had a graze on my left elbow, cuts on both knees, a cut on my left shin and a bleeding flap of skin on the palm of my hand. It all had grit in it and was really stinging. Rhian had a big bruise on her shin so we both limped back home together!


I don’t like Clementine – 3rd August 1997

Sunday 3rd I didn’t see anything of Alex today but his dad and dog were out in the garden. [Definitely worth noting.]

Rhian, Abby and I went to the pool again today coz they had the float out. It looks like this:-

July 1997 - Float

It was really good and one of the lifeguards got out a freezing cold hosepipe!

This afternoon, we wandered round to Clementine Catt’s with Rhian and watched them play rounders. They all went inside and didn’t ask me or Abby to come in! I don’t like Clementine or her sister and friends.

Abby and I just sat on a wall outside their house and engraved ‘MUFC rule!’ and ‘I ♥ (etc)’ and ‘Catts R prats’ into the wall. [Revenge is sweet (but quite mild). I hope it’s still there.]

This evening we made ourselves up. I was looking quite nice actually!